AFRICA/EGYPT - Jihadist threats to Coptic monasteries, the strengthening of security measures are required

Cairo - In the last hours, according to Egyptian sources consulted by Agenzia Fides, jihadist threats were directed in particular against the Coptic Orthodox Monastery of al Baramos, dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The threats have been accompanied by information about the location and structure of the monastery, already subjected to considerable protection measures by the Egyptian police.
In the light of recent developments, Yussif Malak, a lawyer and director of the Egyptian Center for Human Rights, called for measures in order to ensure exceptional protection for churches and Coptic monasteries under threat. Malak said that similar threats were common even before the terrorist attack carried out on New Year's Eve 2011 at the Coptic Church of the Saints in Alexandria, Egypt, which caused 23 dead and hundreds injured.
Even Nader Shoukry, a spokesman for the "Copts for Egypt" Association, called on the Interior Ministry and the Egyptian security apparatuses to seriously take the threats released via the internet against Coptic targets.
That of al Baramos is one of four historic Coptic monasteries which were severely damaged in early November by the floods caused by heavy rainfalls in the Wadi Natrun region .